In My Weakness

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I greatly dislike feeling weak. In fact, I often do what I can to avoid feeling weak, or at least appearing weak. Yet, these days, there is no denying it. I am weak to the core. My body is weak as it continues to be beaten down by Lyme disease and its devastating effects. My mothering abilities feel weak as I grow weary trying to care for 4 sick little children who are also being ravaged by this awful disease and acting out at the world (well, mostly at me) in response. My marriage has had weaknesses exposed as my husband and I carry stress loads that statistically leave 90% of marriages in divorce. Even my basic needs of life have been left feeling weak and vulnerable after my husband was laid off two weeks ago when his failing company let go off more than 60% of its sales force (leaving us with the financial burdens of normal life along with the treatment of 6 family members with Lyme disease). And if I’m honest, my faith has felt weak as I’ve wrestled with the Lord through my confusion, fears, anger, and weariness over life’s circumstances. In my flesh, I despise feeling weak. But in the Spirit, I have found a strength that has been both sufficient and deeply satisfying. These past two weeks, as I have been brought to a level of weakness I have never known before, I have come to understand Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 more deeply. If you are struggling with a sense of weakness (whether physical, emotional, or spiritual) in your life, I hope to encourage you with these three reminders.

Come to Christ honestly with your weakness and emotions, trusting you are accepted and loved.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this (Paul’s thorn in his flesh), that it should leave me.” (2 Corinthians 12:8, emphasis mine)

I admit, the day my husband lost his job, I went through a period of shock and didn’t want to speak to anyone, including the Lord. We were already feeling as though we were sinking and had been praying for deliverance, healing, and provision. Losing our sole income was not exactly what I had pictured the Lord’s answer to be. I’m not going to pretend that my immediate response was, “Thank you, Lord, for this new opportunity to trust you.” No, I felt angry and unsure of what to do with my anger, and confused about how to reconcile what I felt with what I knew to be true about the Lord. I felt numb, completely overwhelmed by the dire reality of what was in front of us. There are so many questions, so many fears, and so many unknowns. What felt like overwhelming weakness has become a feeling of utter helplessness. What do we do in a place like this? We have to throw ourselves upon Christ, even the messy, doubting, angry part of us. He knows our thoughts, emotions, and hearts better than we do, and we are believing a lie of the enemy if we think that we have to pull ourselves together before we can bring ourselves before him. 

Friend, the Lord knows that we are ‘but dust’ (Psalm 103:14). He knows the multi-layered effects of trauma, pain, loss, fear, suffering, and the emotional ups and downs of life. And most importantly, he is the only One who can give us all that we need in these moments. I am learning on a deeper level that I am fully accepted by my Savior, even when I’m an absolute mess inside. And so are you. Why then do we often seek momentary comforts and solutions to temporarily drown out our pain, rather than throw ourselves down at his feet in dependence on his mercy, grace, provision, and strength? Jesus knows what we need and is able and willing to provide it, so let’s bring ourselves to him in honest prayer and a willingness to receive what he has for us in his Word. He will be faithful to meet us where we are – mess and all.

Come to Christ with your weakness, expecting to receive his strength.

“But he said to me,‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” (v9a)

I am unable to fully understand or describe how the Spirit strengthens us in our weakness. It is beyond what my limited mind can comprehend. However, I know that I am experiencing it this very moment. Just as we can’t see the wind with our eyes, yet see evidence of its presence, we can’t see or always feel the strength of Christ flowing through us, yet see evidence of his power. The last two weeks, I have definitely not felt strong. However, as I look back, I marvel at how the Lord has infused me with his strength in my weakness. In my flesh, I wanted to run – but I didn’t. In my flesh, I wanted to be angry at the Lord, yet I found myself desperate to be near him and drawn to the Word as if it were my very lifeline of survival. I felt no desire to get up each morning to care for my kids (or myself), yet I somehow made it through each day. Although I don’t feel strong, I see incredible evidence of his strength in me. So I encourage you to draw near to Christ honestly and trust that he will give you the strength that you need. You may not feel it in the moment, but he will be faithful to equip you with what you need each and every moment – even if it’s simply to take your next breath.

Come to Christ with your weaknesses, bringing glory to him as you find joy in his strength.

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

I can say with confidence that as you experience Christ’s strength in your weakness, you will experience a sense of joy, even in circumstances that you don’t enjoy. Only the power of the Spirit can explain how we can despise our circumstances and yet feel joyful within them. This is why Paul was able to boast gladly in his weaknesses. His weaknesses drew him into a deeper love-relationship with and reliance on his Savior. Though I imagine he found no joy in the thorn in his flesh, his words express a contentment and joy within it as he experienced the strength of Christ infused in his weakness. As Paul’s love for Christ grew, despite and through the pain in his life, his joy grew as Christ’s name was glorified through his weakness. Oh, I pray that this would be true of you and me! Whatever trials we are entrusted with in this life, whether brief or spanning our entire lifetime, may we be so satisfied with Jesus that we can gladly boast in our weaknesses because of how Christ’s power is miraculously displayed through them. Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t pray for relief, healing, or provision, but if the Lord chooses not to bring it, we have an opportunity to bear the evidence of Christ’s power shining through our flawed, weak, and broken lives.

The sweetness of experiencing Christ’s strength in our weakness.  

As much as I have grieved, ached, cried, and sat in silence these last couple of weeks (and years), I have experienced a sweet, satisfying dependence on Christ that no words can sufficiently describe. While we have been blown away by the love that others have sacrificially shown us, ultimately it is Christ Himself who has sustained us, provided what we need, and carried us through this darkness. There is a strange sense of freedom that comes with knowing that God alone is big enough to save us. He has taken away all resources, allowing even our basic needs to be threatened. Yet, what an incredible opportunity to throw ourselves wholeheartedly on his trustworthy name and watch his power be made perfect in our weakness. My prayer for you is that you would see your weaknesses and trials as  opportunities to draw nearer to Christ and experience the joy of seeing his strength shine through them. Though the pain may remain, our understanding may be limited, and our trials may continue, if we are in Christ, we can come to him honestly, fill ourselves with the truth of his Word, and trust that our weaknesses will become a vessel to display his strength.

I will close with the words of Charles Spurgeon from “Morning by Morning”, who encourages us with words far more eloquent than I ever could –

“In seasons of severe trial, Christians have nothing on earth that they can trust in, and are therefore, compelled to cast themselves on their God alone. There is no human deliverance, and they must trust themselves entirely to the providence and care of God. There is no getting to our God sometimes because of the multitude of our friends who want to help, but when we’re so poor, so friendless, so helpless that we have nowhere else to turn, we fly into our Father’s arms, and are blessedly held close! When we’re burdened with troubles so pressing and so peculiar that we can’t tell them to anyone but God, we may be thankful for them, for we will learn more of our Father then than at any other time. Oh, storm-tossed believer, it’s a happy trouble that drives you to your Father! Now that you have only your God to trust in, see that you put your full confidence in Him. Don’t dishonor your God by unworthy doubts and fears, but be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Show the world that your God is worth ten thousand worlds to you. Show wealthy people how rich you are in your poverty when the Lord is your helper. Show the strong person how strong you are in your weakness when underneath the everlasting arms. Now’s the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits. Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord your God will surely glorify Himself in your weakness.”

In Christ, 

Sarah Walton

 

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13 thoughts on “In My Weakness

  1. AMEN.
    Thank you precious Sarah, for taking the time to pick up your pen. You, Jeff, your illness, your dear children…his employment…all covered in our prayers. Possibly while he is off…you all can drive to Ga and rest a few days in our house in the mountains. We can arrange some time with Ann and Billy…and you can encourage and uplift one another. And of course…we would love to lay our eyes on you and our arms around you!

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    1. Thank you, Dee! Oh, we had already talked about how amazing it would be to come visit you guys while we have some unexpected down time (except that all down time is being used for job searching!). However, the only major downside is the thought of driving that long with these kids! ; ) You never know, though. Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement. So thankful for you both!

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  2. Hi Sarah,

    I feel your pain and I would like to help a little financially if it is OK with you.

    Please send me your email address for PayPal so I can make the transfer.

    Even though I can’t help a lot financially, hopefully you can feel that we are one in Christ.

    You have certainly helped me a lot through you posts despite the challenges that you are facing.

    It is Christ’s command to love, and be loved.

    God bless!

    Warm regards,

    David

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    1. David, I feel so humbled and blown away by your thoughtfulness and encouragement. Would you be able to send me your email address so that I can respond to you in person? Thank you!
      ~Sarah

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  3. I reach out to you with assurance God is with you throughout all times. He hears your plea. Continue on your brave and steady path. He is there for you, always. I am praying now.
    -Rick

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  4. Sarah,

    You may feel weak, but I assure you that the Holy Spirit is alive and thriving in you. Your posts are eloquently written, authentic and pure. I, too, am a mom with Lyme Disease (currently on disability) and my children have also been infected. Not only do we have a disease that’s difficult to diagnose and treat, most do not acknowledge it or appreciate the gravity of devastation. I am PRAYING for healing, deliverance, provision, and perseverance for you and your family. This has been my pray for me and my family for so long. Yes, there are amazing gifts in brokenness! I love Heb 12:1, essentially says to ‘Look to Jesus…Endure the Race’! If you’d like to connect personally, it would be a privilege to walk this journey with you. Perhaps some of my experience navigating these waters may benefit you and make your load a little lighter. (mhasty1234@gmail.com)

    Molly

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    1. Molly,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement words! Ugh, my heart hurts to know your family is battling Lyme Disease as well. As you said, it’s so incredibly devastating. However, I’m thankful to hear that your eyes our on the Lord as well and that you have hope even amidst this awful disease. I’d love to connect! I’m sure we both can use all the support we can get on this hard road. Thank you for praying and I will remember to keep your family in my prayers as well.
      In Christ,
      Sarah

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  5. Just…thank you. This morning, I felt exactly as you said in the beginning of your post — struggling to reconcile what I know to be true about God with how my circumstances made me feel. For nearly two years, I have watched someone I love deal with debilitating depression, and nothing has seemed to help. Your words brought good tears as they reminded me of God’s good purpose in trials. Thank you for the reminder and for pointing another weak person to our source of strength! May God continue to bless you with grace and strength!

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    1. Praise the Lord, Kori. I’m always amazed and thankful when provides exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. I’m so sorry to hear what you have gone through. Life can be so hard. But I’m thankful that we have hope beyond these incredible trials and that he provides what we need as we look to him. I look forward to the day when we can see all the ways that he has worked through these heartaches for our good and for his glory. Keep pressing on, sister, in the strength of Christ.

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  6. Hello Sarah, I stumbled on your blog post on Facebook today and I am so sorry to hear that you and your family have been suffering from Lyme Disease among other challenges. I will lift you guys up in prayer. I felt a pressing need to pass some information on to you. I am not a doctor or affiliated with any of the resources I am passing on to you in any way. I am just a mom who has struggled with health issues as well and wants the best for her family. I have done years of research on health and nutrition and while we still have our challenges, we have seen major improvement in our health by implementing a lot of the changes in our diet that I have learned through the years. I don’t know what you are doing to treat Lyme Disease but here are a few resources that may help.
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-milk-cure-for-healing-lyme-disease/
    I know you may have some concern about raw milk, especially for kids, but this is actually one of nature’s i.e. God’s perfect foods that he has provided us. Many cultures have nourished themselves on raw milk for thousands of years and many even refer to it as “white blood” for its healing properties. You can learn more about the benefits and safety of raw milk here:
    http://www.realmilk.com/
    Here are some more resources:
    http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/diet-and-recovery-from-chronic-disease/
    http://www.westonaprice.org/book-reviews/healing-lyme-disease-coinfections-by-stephen-harrod-buhner/
    http://www.realmilk.com/health/milk-cure/
    http://curingchronic.com/curing-chronic-lyme-disease-the-raw-milk-diet/
    For some of the best information on what a healthy diet is and resources to help is the Weston A. Price Foundation. Out of all my research, they are one of the best in nutrition.
    http://www.westonaprice.org/
    I don’t know how much any of this will help, but its my hope and prayer that it will! Feel free to email me at gutierrez.katie19@gmail.com if you ever have any questions.
    God bless and I wish you and your family well.

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    1. Katie, thank you so much for your comment and for sharing all the wisdom that you have gained. We have definitely learned how important diet is and we are always learning more. I briefly looked into a couple of links you shared and they look very interesting! So thank you for taking the time to share. More than anything, thank you for your prayers!

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